UK motorists have been overcharged a whopping £500 million at fuel pumps in the past three months, according to data from FairFuel UK.
The campaign group’s research showed that the price of a litre of petrol and diesel should be at least 5p less than is usually the case.
In addition, it said that recent price increases for consumers have been far larger than those faced by retailers in the wholesale market.
FairFuel looked at fuel prices in the Bristol area to help it arrive at its conclusions.
Researchers found prices within a 30-mile radius of the city varied by 30p per litre across different types of retailer.
BP garages had price variations of 10p for petrol and 25p for diesel, while prices at major supermarkets differed by up to 12p.
Factors that have been blamed for recent price hikes include the value of oil increasing and the pound weakening against the dollar.
The news comes after the RAC published data earlier this month showing that fuel prices have recently increased at a higher rate than at any other time in the past 18 years.
The price of petrol went up by 6p in May, taking the average cost of unleaded from 123.43p to 129.41p per litre. This equates to an extra £3.29 to fill up a 55-litre fuel tank.
Howard Cox, founder of FairFuel UK, commented: “In Germany and France, pump prices can fluctuate on the forecourts daily, even hourly. The cost of filling up in those countries accurately reflects oil and wholesale prices.
“Here in the UK, motorists and businesses are exploited ruthlessly by the fuel supply chain. The government must protect consumers and the economy from this recurring, disingenuous manipulation benefiting only a few greedy shareholders and speculators.”
Kirstene Hair, Scottish Conservative MP for Angus, added: “It is unfair that retailers are increasing costs disproportionately for hard-working families, small businesses and the haulage industry.
“The rising costs for businesses will make it more challenging to operate, while household budgets will be squeezed.
“Families and small businesses need more transparency over what they pay at the pump. We need an independent price monitoring body. This will ensure households and businesses are no longer charged unfairly for fuel.”
June 19, 2018